We've all seen it: some folks have the magical power of imbuing their gardens with some kind of plant "immortality" whereas others can't even keep a succulent alive more than a week!
Now, it's safe to assume that our poor friends with brown thumbs are really making an effort. If you use the right amount of water, soil and light, that should be it, right?
Testing the myth
The notion that our gardens my have feelings is certainly not new. German professor Gustav Fechner proposed the idea way back in 1848. And while no scientific societies have put the subject to bed conclusively, many studies have suggested that plants do respond positively to sound exposure.
In an experiment run over a month, the Royal Horticultural Society played the voices of 10 different people (men and women) to 10 different tomato plants, with two plants growing in silence as control. At the end of the month, the plants “listening” to female voices grew an average of an inch taller than the rest.
On the popular show Mythbusters, 60 pea plants were grown in three separate green houses. Further, they played two different soundtracks to the plants: one of loving praise and the other cruel insults. The growth of the plants was charted over 60 days with surprising results. The silent greenhouse produced most poorly of the three, while both the kind and cruel soundtracks seemed to have positively effected the pea plants.
Whether you believe the myth or not, it may be worth chatting up your plants this weekend.